(U.S.) – Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) bipartisan bill designed to expand maternal health care is on it’s way to President Donald Trump’s desk.
The bill focuses on expanding care to underserved and rural communities. A recent press release explained the proposed expansion will work with areas lacking mental health professionals and will also provide incentives for providers to practice in those areas.
The bipartisan bill was passed by the Senate last Thursday. The overall mission of the bill, according to sponsors, is to help ensure women have access to timely, high-quality maternity care. This move comes following a recent Ohio Department of Health report discovered the number of black infant deaths increased once again in 2017.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes babies born to mothers who have access to little or no prenatal care are three times more likely to have low birth rate and five times more likely to die than babies whose mothers receive care.
“Healthy pregnancies lead to healthy babies, and no mother-to-be should go without the care she needs,” explained Brown. He explained the bill will allow officials to target maternity care resources and make them available where most needed.
The bill is also sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tammy Baldwin (D-W). Organization endorsing the bill include the ACOG, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the March of Dimes and the National Rural Health Association.